victoriadrianna is the Editor-in-Chief of Philadelphia-based creative culture + lifestyle website, project DARLA, and is set to release her first book, These Things Take Time in November 2018. She launched the “Dreams And Real Life Align” media platform in September 2014 with the mission to provide an outlet for young creative professionals to share their stories, experiences, and reflect on their processes as they work to achieve their goals.
With an emphasis on health and wellness, victoriadrianna has covered a variety of budding artists, entrepreneurs, writers, photographers, and visionaries who have been inspired to use the power of art to make a positive impact and spark a creative revolution.
Tell us a bit about who you are, where you come from, and what inspires you.
My name is Victoria + most people call me Tori… I am a writer and the Creative Director of the lifestyle website, projectDARLA.com. I come from a big family who influenced me a lot, as far as my interests go. They put me on to all types of music, films, books, fashion, sports and things like that early in life and those interests have turned into a career path for me. As a child, I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ homes in southwest Philly during the summertime and on weekends.
Once I learned how to write, I’d carry notebooks around with me everywhere, creating poems and stories with drawings. I would read some of them to my grandfather in the mornings and he thought they were great, even though they were only about stuff like my dog and how certain colors made me feel, haha! He began teaching me how to type on his typewriter, and I’ve just literally never stopped writing since.
My relationships with my family is what inspires me; the love we have for each other and the happiness we create by sharing all of our favorite things is something I try to apply to everything I do.
While I consider myself to be a writer the most, I also work on a lot of projects in photography, graphic designing, marketing, and other fields. Plus I majored in Fashion Merchandising & Management during college, with concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Integrated Communications.
What started your passion for health and wellness?
My passion for health and wellness started out as a necessary lifestyle that I needed to adapt. When I was 13, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that Western doctors have not been able to identify a cause or cure for. During the past couple of years, my body has been unresponsive to maintenance medications and their recommendations to control the symptoms haven’t been successful. Kind of as a last resort (my family and I hadn’t been aware that this was even an option), I began researching and discovering holistic ways to care for my body and heal from the damage that doctors were telling me required surgery.
I learned a lot from practitioners like Dr. Sebi and the Medical Medium platform that channels healing guidance from the spiritual realm. Knowing what I know now, my main focus is on leveling up so that my physical body can be in harmony with my mind. I feel like I still have a long way to go, but what I’ve learned thus far has changed a lot for me, from my dietary habits to the way I approach life each day.
Battling with an illness all throughout college, and taking very poor care of myself in the process, really opened my eyes to the importance of prioritizing health and wellness above career and external goals. I started to notice how wellness is something a lot of us overlook, especially when we are so driven and focused on achieving success and managing a long list of other things. But even those of us who aren’t dealing with illness can really benefit from learning the truth about natural health practices and accessible tools that can make maintaining holistic wellness a reality. This understanding is what lead me to have more conversations about all four points of health (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) and now I aim to incorporate those things into the content I create.
What does your writing process look like?
Depending on what type of writing I’m doing, my writing process will look different. Most things start off with an idea I’ve written down in a notebook. Writing my book, These Things Take Time, I would just write notes to myself- my thoughts and feelings about certain experiences and what I learned from them. The final book is a compilation of things that I have written over the past nine years.
I also regularly write profiles and interview features for DARLA, and those may start off with a note in the form of a question or appreciation for some type of artwork or brand. That process continues on with the drafting of interview questions, conducting the actual interview, and then transcribing the dialogue to produce a final piece. This usually happens after I’ve spent time listening to music, dancing, and settling into a spot where I can be fully present. I’ve had opportunities to interview some truly amazing people, so those are the pieces that really come together easily.
What made you decide to publish your book and what did you find most challenging about the process?
I’ve always wanted to publish a book but never really sat down with a concept or outline for one; I think that’s what was most challenging for me. I have so many stories to tell and so many things to say that I never felt as though I was ready to narrow it down for a book. I finally decided to publish this one during a time that I kept looking back at things I wrote to myself, from like 2009 and 2012, and found that I could relate those thoughts to multiple situations, both past and the present. Once that connection was made in my mind, the book just began to come together organically.
Any advice for aspiring writers/poets?
Never stop writing! You don’t have to share everything you write, but as a writer, the best thing you can do is exercise your writing all the time. Even if it’s quick tweets, or private thoughts of a special moment, just write it down, especially if it makes you feel something. Some day you may look back at one sentence and be inspired to write an entire novel or screenplay built from that idea. Also, write from your heart + write about LOVE… That’s how I believe the most beautiful poetry comes to life.
What do you hope that our readers take away from your work?
I hope readers can take away something valuable from my work, whether it’s capacity for unconditional love, peace of mind, new insight, or a relatable feeling. If you’re dealing with chaos or a challenging circumstance like illness, heartbreak, failure, I hope you are able to find faith in your process of healing, and comfort in knowing that the universe is going to have your back every step of the way.
Where can the people find you?
Instagram/Twitter: @victoriadrianna + @DARLAmedia
All Photos: victoriadrianna